Hyundai Elantra 2010 - paint and valve cover replacement

Hi CarTalk community,
I have a 2010 Hyundai Elantra (126,000 miles). I need some advice about a couple of things:

  1. there are a couple of spots on the roof where I can see the paint starting to come off - about 1.5 inches x .5 inches. Can I just paint over it with the right color to fix the problem?
  2. This one is a bit bigger…At some point, a mechanic working on my car cracked off a piece of the valve cover on my engine and now oil leaks out of it. We’ve had a hard time finding an affordable replacement for the cover (trying to do it at home to save money) as my model is one that was kind of a transition model and so the cover isn’t very common. My partner just tried to put on a cover that was supposed to fit and the fit isn’t quite right. He thought that maybe it would be best to just go with the expensive Hyundai dealer part ($400 vs. $70) as he was unsure about whether hoses can be retrofitted to make this work. Do any of you have experience with this?

For the valve cover try local auto salvage yards. if they do not have it, they have the ability to get it from another auto salvage yard from other states.


here are some videos about paint touch up and repair.

Touch Up Paint How To Videos | AutomotiveTouchup


Well, you’ve got a 12 year old car and never was a luxury model to begin with so:

  1. Sander down, prime, paint with the touch up paint as described.
  2. Valve covers are not a real critical part so I think I would just try to repair the hole. If it is plastic, I’d maybe try epoxy putty, being careful to re-form the cover for proper fit.

Agree with @bing on #1. Sand it down, prime and paint. Search “color matched car paint” on the internet and you’ll get a couple of sites that can sell you everything you need to do this at home and get a decent repair…plus How-To videos.

#2 Try E-Bay for a valve cover. Junkyards around the country use EBay to sell parts.

You can try to fix the paint yourself, if you don’t care what it will look like when you’re done.

Because on 12 year-old car, it’s going to be impossible for a novice to match the paint on the car now.



Agreed; any paint work is going to show up no matter what. It’s also why body shops paint the entire panel. Even in cases like that the panel will often appear to be a different shade due to age/sun on the old paint.

As for valve covers, what about used ones on eBay? A quick look showed droves of them from 30 to 80 dollars. Whether hoses can be worked around is possible I would say but since both of you appear to be novices I would say stick with an exact fit.